The use of smartphones is increasing by the day in low and middle-income countries and with incidences of women being harassed over the phone increasing tremendously too.
According to a report released by GSMA in 2019, 1.7 billion women now own a mobile phone in low and middle-income countries as smartphones have become an essential tool but this comes negative impact as women become accessible targets for sexual harassment.
The study phone harassment as getting nuisance phone calls, text messages, unsolicited images and even comments on social media platforms.
According to the study, women in Egypt receive these types of phone calls and SMS the most with one out of three women receiving unwanted attention.
In Kenya, Brazil and India, one out of five women are victims of phone harassment according to the GSMA survey.
The big question is whether women in these countries consider phone harassment as a crime?
According to the report, women from across the three continents where the survey was carried out don’t take such calls or texts or pictures as harassment. Therefore, they don’t report the incidents to local authorities for legal action.
In most cases, the people who make harassment calls are not known to the women they contact.
In Kenya and Brazil, the study found that the calls are mostly made by inmates.
Though such calls irritate and anger many women, very few incidences are reported to the authorities.
The women view the incidents as normal while others are afraid of speaking up or being ridiculed.
The report also looked at areas where most women are affected by phone harassment and it was found that women in metropolitan areas are the most affected.